The Way Life Goes - An Interview with Tom Keifer
by Gio Pilato
For somebody coming from a paralyzed vocal chord health issues, Tom did a pretty good job on this record. Released in 2013, The Way Life Goes is hard-rock, with blues roots, which comes naturally for someone like Tom Kiefer to write and record. Tom is taking a temporary hiatus from the 80's band Cinderella to promote his first solo album. He kindly accepted to talk to us at Bluebirdreviews.com about this album and his career, in and out of Cinderella.
Gio - Tom, thank you so much for talking to us at Bluebirdreviews.com; The Way Life Goes is a record that took a very long time to be released and if I may say, with excellent results. Does the album sound in your opinion exactly in the same way you initially planned it, back in 2003 or has the sound slightly developed during the years before its official release in 2013?
Tom - When you write a song you get a certain vision in your mind of how do you want your songs to sound like and in the process of trying to create that sound that you want, you don't say it's finished until you reach that goal you have in mind. I would say that I am pretty much happy of what the album sounds like in comparison to my initial vision when we started planning the album.
Gio - The album captures the essence of your music roots, adding at time even country-ish kind of influences on the record; how crucial has been the support of Savannah, your wife, involved in the songwriting and choice of different types of sound on the album?
Tom - Well, she brought a lot in; she is an excellent songwriter and she produced the record too. She contributed greatly to both those aspects of the record and she also introduced me to lots of different musical vision on this album and also introduced me to the musicians that played on the record so I certainly have a lot to thank her for.
Gio - One of the stand-out tracks of the album, for me is "Fool's Paradise," in which you sing about the modern stereotype of living in a society in which somebody else wants to think or act on behalf of the human being. Tell us a bit more about the idea behind the track and how was conceived.
Tom - We thought a lot about how technology can be Catch 22; there is a lot of conveniences in the technology in our society but there is a lot of backlash too as well. So this is pretty much what the song is about and what was inspired by.
Gio - Tom, how much in your opinion has the hard-rock scene changed and developed in the last three decades, since the formation of Cinderella?
Tom - Well, music marches on and every decade has a defined sound so rock and hard-rock really get re-defined all the time. In modern rock I cannot hear a lot of blues influences around from newer bands and I miss this aspect a lot although, fortunately, there is still someone that carry that music influence into the genre. I hear a bit of everything out there, newer and classic and I like that; I would say that the most relevant difference in music when I was into rock radios here is that there seems to be a lot of "written" music.
Gio - I cannot stop blasting "Solid Ground" in my car, with that almost AC/DC sound-a-like intro that gets me all the time. Paraphrasing the lyrics of the song, have you found a place, musically speaking, in which you fit in or are you still trying to find the right place for you?
Tom - I think that song is about life being in constant changing or evolution; we are all looking for that place in which we feel we have arrived somewhere. The longer I live, the more I realize that life is something you need to keep up with; it's not about the destination, it's the journey that counts and as corny as it sounds, that is my truth... That is really what that song is about.
Gio - How much has marriage to a fellow songwriter like Savannah changed your attitude to your writing and to your lifestyle in general?
Tom - It doesn't really change or affect anything in my style; we both write in a similar way, I write the way I have always written and so does Savannah and it just naturally works together. The years we have been working on this record has just made us realize how natural is for us working together as an ensemble on the record. Even now that we are touring together, she comes along with me and she does backing vocals and it is so cool for us to work with one another.
Gio - Are you currently planning a new tour or a new record with Cinderella or will you concentrate on your solo career still for a while?
Tom - We are still touring at the moment for The Way Life Goes; we took a break towards the end of last year as a band and the beginning of this year. We started doing dates together again back in April and we have done a bunch of shows here in US and continuing to the fall, hopefully. In terms of new records, my label is still working on releasing new singles from The Way.. We will see, at the moment I am just taking things one day per time, at the moment we are having too much fun doing what we are doing.
Gio - If you had the chance to become a time traveler, in which music decade would you have loved to be?
Tom - Mmm, interesting question. You know, we came out as a band back in the eighties and that felt like a pretty good decade to make music; I think that if I had to travel back in any decade either than the eighties, then I would go back in the seventies. Reason being is because that was the period in which I heard the music I grew up with and loved, bands like The Rolling Stones... That was a pretty cool decade.
Gio - By the look of your website, it sounds like you will be concentrating touring USA and Canada in the months to come. Will your fans in Europe have the chance to see you performing live anytime soon?
Tom - We are hoping to get there soon, either by the end of this year or sometimes next year. We are going to tour this record until we drop!
Gio - Tom, when you walk on stage every night, do you like to think that music has fulfilled all your dreams or is there still any secret desire you would love to achieve in your glorious career as a musician?
Tom - I think the path I have been following in my life, musically speaking, has certainly fulfilled my dreams; my biggest dream was to play music since I was a kid so maybe, the unfulfilled dream at this stage of my life is to continue to play music! But, all in all, I would say so far so good.
Gio- Tom, thank you ever so much to talk to us, it has been a great pleasure and privilege to talk to you and many congratulations for your great solo debut.
About Our Author: Giovanni "Gio" Pilato is Italian music writer, who has been living in UK since 2002. With an enormous passion for music, and life in general, his interest in the communications began at 11 years old. He worked briefly for local radios in his youth and did a one-off radio show on 2007 on the glorious BBC 6 Music Radio station. Gio started his freelance journalist career in 2012, with Italian artists, and is now mainly focusing on blues artists. To follow Gio Pilato and his all cool radio show, Visit: (RTL 102.5 Cool (Webradio)): http://www.rtl.it/Cool